Alvanon is the largest maker of mannequin body forms in the world. The Manhattan-based company uses a device called AlvaScan to create these forms — which are then used to create clothing sizes. "We are so diverse that in any given size, there are probably four or six different body types that are represented," says the company's president, Ed Gribbin.
Credit Courtesy of Alvanon
A model's measurements are scanned. Then, after adjustments are made, a 3-D body is created, followed by the final mannequin form.
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:44 pm
Are you size 4? A 6? An 8? Often women shoppers don't know. And they can actually be all those sizes without gaining or losing an ounce.
Ed Gribbin, president of Alvanon, a clothing size and fit consulting firm in New York City, says everyone has a number in their head. When you go shopping, you instinctively look for your size, but more often than not, the item doesn't fit.
A convoy of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne line up at Contingency Operating Station Kalsu, a U.S. base about 60 miles south of Baghdad. For many U.S. troops, it is the last stop in Iraq on the way out of the country.
Credit Sean Carberry / NPR
A driver of an armored vehicle waits for fuel. More than 30,000 troops have passed through the Kalsu base as the U.S. shutters its military bases in Iraq.
In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?
"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.
This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.
If Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa is remembered for anything, it may be for that moment where Mitt Romney made what seemed to many a substantial blunder by offering to wager Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 on whether the governor had his facts right about Romney's record.
Thousands of wreaths were laid around the world Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.
The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths with big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.
"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."
In jazz, to be a bassist usually means playing in someone else's band. The bassist-as-bandleader is a fairly rare thing, with the torch being passed over the years from Charles Mingus to Ron Carter ... and now to Philadelphia-born Christian McBride.
On Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed an E.U. plan to solve its economic woes, which caused a severe rift among Europe's greatest powers. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about the Eurozone crisis and other top stories from the past week.
Tens of thousands of Russians turned out for rallies in Moscow and other cities Saturday to protest alleged fraud in last week's parliamentary elections. The protests appear to be the biggest mass demonstrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Peter van Dyk reports from Moscow about the protest there.
Turning now to domestic politics. The Iowa caucuses are just about three weeks away now. Herman Cain is gone. Newt Gingrich is the new front-runner. And Mitt Romney is slipping somewhat in the polls. Meanwhile, the attacks among the GOP contenders are getting sharper. And against that backdrop, there's another debate tonight. This one at Drake University in Des Moines.
For the first time, an Arab woman has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At a ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Saturday, Tawakkul Karman known as the "mother of Yemen's democratic revolution"-- shared the 2011 prize with two Liberian women, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, who helped lead the protests that ousted former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
A new study shows that it is more difficult to "move up" in America than other developed countries. In America, kids are more likely to stay at the bottom of the economic ladder if their parents had low socio- economic status. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Erin Currier, manager of the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, about why the U.S. ranked worst for economic mobility among the countries in the study.
Most of the names announced for induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week are familiar: Guns N' Roses, Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The name Laura Nyro may need some explaining.
She was the daughter of a New York jazz trumpeter, who took her along to his gigs. She sold her first song, And When I Die, to Peter, Paul and Mary for $5,000 when she was just a teenager; left New York's School of Music and Art; and became a star at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival at the age of 20.
Methodist Pastor Oscar Ramos conducts English classes for Latino immigrants in New Orleans. The majority of the immigrants say they arrived after Katrina to work in reconstruction and intend to stay.
Credit Richard Gonzales / NPR
Day laborer Yohanni Castillo from Honduras waits for work outside a Lowes home improvement store in New Orleans. He said he jobs are drying up. He hadn't worked for four days and even when he does work, he isn't always guaranteed he'll get paid.
Since Katrina, the Hispanic population in the New Orleans metro area has skyrocketed by more than 33,000 people. That's a 57-percent increase in the past decade, much higher than the national average.
They came for the construction jobs — and they've chosen to stay. Often, you can find about a dozen Latino men hanging out near a home improvement store looking for work near a mostly black neighborhood.
The United Nations climate conference in Durban, South Africa, was scheduled to wrap up Friday, but the negotiations have gone into overtime. Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Richard Harris about what is still under discussion.
The nation's oldest black church reopens to the public this week after a $9-million restoration fueled in part by federal stimulus funds, and completed in painstaking detail despite the recession. Shannon Mullen tours Boston's African Meeting House with the woman who led the project.
This week, the Senate blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general chosen by President Obama to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It boils down to yet another partisan fight: Republicans say the agency has too much power, and the White House says they won't weaken an agency that is supposed to protect consumers. Host Scott Simon talks with Joe Nocera, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.
European Union leaders completed a marathon of treaty negotiations overnight to address the continent's debt crisis. Host Scott Simon checks in with NPR's Philip Reeves about how this new plan will impact Europe.
Opposition politicians and press pundits in France warn that the Sarkozy-Merkel plan to save the Euro will make France subservient to Germany. They say France will lose its sovereignty by giving a German-dominated EU control over French fiscal policy. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley pounded the pavement of Paris for days, however, and could not find a single rank-and-file French citizen who shared these fears.
Chung Pei-Ma is a professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, and she led the team that published the research which appears this week in the journal Nature. She joins us on the phone. Thanks so much for being with us.
DR. CHUNG PEI-MA: Thank you very much.
SIMON: So how inadequate was my explanation of black holes, and...
PEI-MA: No. That was beautiful. That was exactly what I was going to say, and I have nothing more to add.
Tea Party voters were expected to play a key role in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, but with movement hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry low in the polls, and Herman Cain now out of the race, the Tea Party vote remains very much in play. New Hampshire Public Radio's Josh Rogers reports.
Last week, we spoke with artist John Morse. He creates traffic warning signs complete with haikus for the New York City Transportation Department.
JOHN MORSE: (Reading) Cyclist writes screenplay. Plot features bike lane drama. How pedestrian.
SIMON: Michael Haslam, in Bellows Falls, Vermont, asks: Is there a potential downside to the New York City haiku signs for pedestrians and bicyclists? Crossing street downtown, signs catch attention, enthrall; fatal distraction.
While Newt Gingrich may not have universal appeal among Tea Party voters, he seems to be drawing wide support from a key Republican constituency, Christian conservatives. The religious right has significant influence in many early voting states, including Iowa, which has its caucuses coming up on January 3rd.
Most Americans haven't read the U.S. Constitution in a long time, if ever. They may be able to tell you about the Second Amendment, or the Fifth, maybe even part of the First. But other than that? A lot of blank stares.
Christopher Phillips has been leading what he calls "Constitution Café" discussions with people across the country. He's asking Americans to imagine themselves as framers of our founding document.
Anita Desai's new collection of stories, The Artist of Disappearance, reads a bit like three symphonic movements in a minor key. They're three novellas, set in modern India, where the past is giving way. In one story, a government official inspects the forgotten treasures left behind in a fated mansion. In another story, a translator becomes a little too creative; and in the third, a man living in solitude finds his world upset by roving visitors.
The world's forests act as massive sponges, sucking carbon from the atmosphere. Above, an aerial photo from 2009 shows massive deforestation in the Brazilian state of Para.
Credit Rodrigo Baleia / LatinContent/Getty Images
Deforestation and forest fires are responsible for 75 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in Brazil. Above, smoke from a fire on livestock pastures in Brazil's Mato Grosso state breaks into the forest, September 2009.
Some climate strategists are looking beyond the United Nations and the idea of remaking the energy economy — and toward the world's tropical forests.
The basic idea is to provide rich countries that emit lots of climate-warming gases another way to reduce their carbon footprint besides replacing or retrofitting factories and power plants. Instead, they could just pay poorer countries to keep their forests, or even expand them. Forests suck carbon out of the atmosphere. It's like paying someone to put carbon in a storehouse.